A Markham-based broadcaster has applied for a licence to operate a national pay audio network.

The numbered company, 3305670 Nova Scotia Company, which is affiliated with the Ethnic Channels Group (ECG), has applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a licence that would consist of at least 69 audio channels in a wide variety of musical formats.

The applicant proposes to devote about 43 per cent of its programming to pop music derived from a variety of genres. The remainder would consist of a variety of other forms of music including jazz, blues and opera. The programs would be offered in English and French for the most part, but at least nine of the channels would be broadcast in various ethnic languages.

ECG is a leading global ethnic broadcaster that operates more than 100 stations in more than 20 languages in North America, Australia, the Middle East and Africa serving the multicultural populations in those areas.

The CRTC is set to hear the application at a meeting in May.